Thanks! I Needed More Reasons to Hate American Idol!

Mostly TV in the news today:

gleeprayer

oh, the glee kids did like a prayer? i wouldn't know, my dvr missed it because of stupid american idol

You know, American Idol can suck it. Seriously. How many times is it going to run over and eff up the DVR population of not only its show, but the following show, and the following show? Sooner or later, Fox has to step in and do something about this. Like, take away Seacrest’s hair gel for a week or something if Idol runs over. But it won’t, because AI makes a gazillion dollars and Fox can live with a couple people p!ssing and moaning about how they missed the last five minutes of Glee because the shows are strong enough that losing one or two people isn’t going to make a bit of difference. Not that anyone will dump either show, the fans are too rabid. So we’re all kinda stuck here, like Jim Carrey at the impound lot in Liar, Liar. “If I take it to small claims court, it will just drain eight hours out of my life and you probably won’t show up, and even if I got the judgment you’d just stiff me anyway. So what I am going to do is p!ss and moan like an impotent jerk and then bend over and take it up the tailpipe!” That’s me and every other fan of Glee or any other show that follows American Idol. Just sitting here and taking it up the tailpipe. Anyway, in case you missed the last couple minutes of Glee, here it is, fast forward to about the 40-minute mark.

You hotshot Friday Night Lights fans with DirecTV can’t drag me down! I don’t care that season 4 already aired on DirecTV and that I accidentally found out what happens to Riggins in the season finale but wouldn’t dare tell anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. This NBC trailer for the season still pumped me up and got me incredibly excited for May 7 when season 4 airs on regular TV, or as I like to call it, “The TV system I’m forced to have because if I got DirecTV, then I couldn’t watch all the Phillies games”:

Landry throwing in the random “can’t lose” sent chills down my spine, literally. I’m not even going to go in to the things this clip reveals since it would sound completely silly to the people who have already seen it, but I’m completely in for the new season, even though it’s been more than a year since it’s been on NBC. I’m jacked just thinking about having FNL back in my life.

OK, 13 episodes of FNL, that takes us to July 30. So right when it’s leaving me, the other best show on TV is just starting as AMC announced this week that Mad Men will have its season 4 premiere July 25. Nice move by AMC to stop the trend of pushing the season premiere date closer and closer to September, almost making it into a fall season show. The three seasons have premiered July 16, July 27 and Aug. 16 so far. Last year it was nearly gobbled up by the fall season’s slate of new and returning shows, so instead of competing, do as much as you can without the presence of the fall season. The next week, on Aug. 1, it will help launch a new Sunday series, Rubicon. AMC has earned our respect at this point — fans of good TV have a near-obligation to watch this Rubicon thing, at least for a while. Oh, and Man Men could go longer than six seasons, in case you’re worried.

june 29. check.

june 29. check.

More summer viewing! If you’ve been watching anything on FX lately, you’ve seen the “coming in June” ads for Rescue Me without the exact date. Well now we know the exact date — June 29. So for the first time, there will be an overlap of original episodes of Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Rescue Me, three of my five or six absolute, can’t miss shows. That’s kinda fun. Every summer, the TV slate gets more crowded. Burn Notice isn’t in that category for me, but it’s still something I don’t miss, and it starts June 3.

Thanks to the magic of DirecTV, we already knew Friday Night Lights will be back for a fifth season in the fall on the satellite company and in 2011 on NBC. But we just found out NBC’s Parenthood will be back for a second season too. I already made my thoughts clear about this show, that I was annoyed during the pilot when it played like a shot-by-shot replay of the movie. And I also was disappointed Maura Tierney couldn’t be in it and Lisa Miller’s best friend from Newsradio had to step in. So if Maura Tierney isn’t around to keep me occupied, then I’m extremely apt to tune out ASAP if I don’t like something, and I just didn’t get a good vibe from Parenthood. I’ve been wrong before.

Same pretty much goes for Curb Your Enthusiasm. It will be back for an eighth season, but I never got the joke so it doesn’t affect me one way or the other. But people I trust say it’s good, so I’ll just take their word for it.

DAMAGES SPOLIERS UPCOMING IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T WATCHED IT!!! I was disappointed in the Damages season finale Monday after a very good comeback year. Season 2 with William Hurt just plain sucked, but I thought this year was a step short of extraordinary, but a step above very good. Martin Short and Lily Tomlin in dramatic roles were huge gambles, but they were both Emmy-worthy, especially Short. But the finale just tried to cram too much into too small of a time frame. Some of this stuff should have been resolved in the last couple weeks. We got every answer we wanted — Patty’s son Michael is the one who crashed into her, Tom Shayes was killed by Joe Tobin, it was Tobin matriarch Marilyn dumping herself into the river, Ellen and Tom weren’t really having an affair, etc. — and the reappearances of Timothy Olyphant and Zeljko Ivanek are always welcome. But we also got too many answers to questions we weren’t even asking. The Patty-origins plot line already had been asked and answered in the first season finale, we didn’t need further explanation. All that did was take up needed time to delve into the stories we had been following for months but got washed away and solved in a dizzying, somewhat confusing 20-minute stretch where every five seconds you found yourself saying, “Ohhhhhhhhh.” Good season, disappointing finale. SEASON GRADE: B+. FINALE GRADE: C.

lucky for these guys, comedy central gets it

lucky for these guys, comedy central gets it

Comedy Central seems to be one of the few networks that gets it. The shows that make them money, they throw gobs of dollars at the people responsible for them, no questions asked. Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been dealing with Comedy Central for almost 15 years when other networks have tried to lure them away, and Jon Stewart has been with The Daily Show since Craig Kilborn left in the 90s and now Stephen Colbert will be there for two more years. You never seem to hear about contract disputes, talent posturing or back-room accusations by either side when it comes to Comedy Central. Why can’t other networks do this too? AMC has two shows — and almost lost one of them when Mad Men creator Matt Weiner said the network was dragging its feet and low-balling him in 2008.

Make all the Jersey jokes you want — and I will proceed to do so, thanks — but it’s a good time to live across the river. As long as you’re in on the joke, that is. Reality TV is turning into action movies in the early 90s which were all described as Die Hard on a (fill in the blank). Under Siege was Die Hard on a boat. Under Siege 2 was Die Hard on a train. Speed was Die Hard on a bus, even though on recent multiple viewings, it surprises me that less than half the movie was actually on the bus. Now there’s the Jersey Shore Corollary for reality TV. Jerseylicious is Jersey Shore in a hair studio. The upcoming Jersey Couture is Jersey Shore in a bridal shop. Who knows why it’s taken so long for people to realize what we in the Poconos have known forever — people from Jersey are off-the-charts nuts — but now that they’ve figured it out, we’re not going to see the end of it for a while. A fun reality show would be talking to locals coming back through the Delaware Water Gap tolls and seeing the relief in their face now that they’re back on Pennsylvania soil. Jersey natives now may commence the naughty comments about how I don’t know what I’m talking about. But trust me, I do.

I’m all for anyone from Flight of the Conchords getting new work. Rhys Darby’s Murray was one of the funniest TV characters of the last five years, so he deserves some extra work (even if it is shilling for UPS). Jemaine Clement seems to be getting some movies — including fourth-billing in the high-profile summer comedy Dinner for Schmucks — so it’s good to see that even if everyone (understandably) didn’t get the FOTC joke, they get that these are funny people. This seems like a good place to mention the trailer for Dinner for Schmucks is pretty funny, and features another Flight of the Conchords alumnae, Kristen Schaal, who played Mel:

I’ve learned one thing in the last three months of compiling and editing the weekly movie and DVD reviews from Roger Ebert that go in Pocono Record’s Weekend section (no link because we’re not contractually able to put them online). That one thing? Ebert likes everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Movies that get a 2 on Rotten Tomatoes? Ebert is usually the lone positive review. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to offend anyone, despite the reputation he has as a hard-@ss. So when a movie gets a bad review, I take notice — which is why I was shocked to see his review last week for Kick-Ass. From the way he reviewed it, you got the feeling you were going straight to Hell for even thinking of checking it out. At that point for me, it went from mild curiosity and possible inclusion on my Blockbuster queue to Saturday afternoon random viewing on FX. You have to wonder if it had something to do with its blah box office last weekend.

Arrested Development on IFC has become quite a fixture in the Sadowski household because I’m still finding jokes I didn’t realize the first time around. To me, that’s one of the marks of a great TV comedy. It’s so hidden sometimes it has to be explained to you to make sure you don’t miss it. Seinfeld is something you watch over and over because it was so brilliantly funny that the lines are just as hysterical now as they were the first time you watched them. But shows like the Simpsons, The Office and Arrested Development, they’re the shows you watch a second and third time because you couldn’t possibly have picked up on every joke on first viewing. There’s something inherently interesting in that and it brings “funny” to a whole new, intellectual level. Just sayin’. I don’t even remember this happening when I watched it the first time, but it made me laugh out loud just now:

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